GFM Network News


[VIDEO] Chicken poo power as an alternative to coal?

Israeli researchers have developed a way to mimic coal formation by heating wet chicken waste, potentially providing an alternative energy source to that fossil fuel and find a use for growing amounts of waste from poultry. – Amy Pollock reports for Reuters.

When the herd is a province away, you need reliable water

Beiseker rancher has solar waterer for 100 cow-calf pairs he grazes across the Saskatchewan border

The phrase ‘remote watering’ takes on a new meaning on Duane Kent’s farm. Kent lives in Beiseker (northeast of Calgary) but also has a four-quarter pasture more than 500 kilometres away in Biggar, Sask. The site has no natural surface water and it would cost $30,000 to bring in electrical power. So he relies on […] Read more


Small ‘tie-in’ solar installations, like this one in Gladstone Valley, 
are popping up across Alberta.

Alberta producers asking big questions about solar power

There’s huge interest in this technology and issues such as payback, 
fixed costs, and government programs are top of mind

There’s no doubt that the government of Alberta is betting big on renewable energy. The goal is to get 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030, and it earmarked $5.5 million last year to help farms and municipalities develop solar power projects. With that kind of big money comes big […] Read more

Can producers make money as solar power providers?

The province is currently consulting stakeholders on a framework that could help farmers do this

In many places, farmers are allowed to turn a profit by tying their solar power systems into the electrical grid. Albertans can export solar electricity to the grid — but there are currently no programs allowing system sizes larger than those that meet on-site electrical requirements. “Alberta’s micro-generation law was crafted for homeowners, business owners, […] Read more


Cattle grazer Steve Kenyon and wife Amber Kenyon have gone almost completely off-grid with a solar system purchased on the online classified site Kijiji.

The solar power math is starting to add up

A steep drop in solar prices is giving a new meaning to ‘green’ power — 
and giving Alberta farmers a way to cut energy costs

Cory Nelson isn’t what you might call a ‘tree hugger.’ But the Grassy Lake-area farmer is a businessman, and to him, solar energy just makes good financial sense. “We view it as an investment,” said Nelson, who grows a variety of crops under irrigation on his southern Alberta farm. “Our best math said it was […] Read more

This 9.8-kilowatt system was installed on a farm in Flagstaff County in 2012.

Navigating Alberta’s solar energy boom

Experts weigh in with some best practices for installing solar energy arrays — and getting the job done right

Interest in solar energy on farms and ranches is reaching a fever pitch, thanks in large part to the provincial government’s $5.5-million commitment in February to help farms and municipalities connect solar panels to the electrical grid. And farmers are not the only ones taking notice. With the decline of Alberta’s oil sector, there are […] Read more